Teach English in Tropical Schools


Teach English in schools in tropical southern Thailand to help enhance English communication skills for local children. Live among an incredibly friendly and welcoming Thai community and explore beautiful islands of Koh Samui, Koh Tao and Koh Phangan at weekends.


Key Info

key info
  • Location: Donsak area, Surat Thani province
  • Start dates: Start dates between May and Aug - see role section
  • Duration: 4 - 12 weeks
  • Age requirement: 20+
  • Availability: Spaces available
  • Cost: From £795 / €955 / $1075- see fees table below

Project Information

Volunteer role: What will I be doing?

Volunteers work within a close-knit rural community to help improve speaking and listening skills and build children’s confidence to communicate in English. Teaching children aged between 6 and 16, volunteers design lessons which are fun, interactive and include games, art, songs and any other creative activities.

You may teach on your own or in a pair. When you are not teaching, you can plan and prepare for your lessons and get to know the children during break times.

Lessons may vary depending on age and ability but may include:

  • Interactive learning games
  • Arts and crafts
  • Listening or conversation practice
  • Games - the children love karaoke!

Teaching experience is not a requirement, we simply ask that volunteers are enthusiastic and imaginative and willing to learn as you teach. You can choose to do a TEFL Course before you go if this is of interest to you.

Working days and hours

Volunteers are at school from Monday - Thursday from 8.30 - 3.30 and usually teach for around 3 hours each day.

Other volunteers

There are generally between 2-6 volunteers. In the evenings volunteers are invited to take part in community activities.

Child protection

Pod is fully committed to safeguarding and promoting the wellbeing of children and vulnerable adults - please see our Child and Vulnerable Adults Protection Policy.

All volunteers are required to have a criminal records check, which we will arrange with you.

Start dates

2017- 8 July (4-8 weeks), 22 July (4-6 weeks), 05 August (4 weeks)

2018- 26 May (4-12 weeks), 09 June (4-12 weeks), 23 June (4-10 weeks), 7 July (4-8 weeks), 21 July (4-6 weeks), 04 August (4 weeks)

Volunteer reviews

Read about volunteer experiences and challenges in our Thailand Tropical Teaching Volunteering reviews.

Why are volunteers needed?

English is the primary language in the tourist industry in Thailand and in the Surat Thani Province tourism is a major source of jobs and income. English lessons from international volunteers are extremely valued, particularly by young people who can see the benefits this will have on their career prospects.

Volunteer lessons are additional to the curriculum and do not replace the work of local teachers. Volunteers are able to make these English lessons fun and interactive and help students to get a better grasp on conversational English.

"All volunteers try hard to help our students learn English through various activities. This is a great opportunity for them to learn English in a real situation but the most important thing is that Pod volunteers inspire and motivate the young people to speak and use English confidently."Jah, Local English Teacher

How is the Teaching English in Tropical Schools project making a difference?

Many of the children at the schools come from low income backgrounds and so by offering the opportunity to improve and build their confidence in English, the project aims to break the poverty cycle giving the children a better opportunity to move onto further education or employment.

Despite the areas close proximity to the popular tourist destinations of Koh Phangan, Koh Samui and Koh Tao, communities in this area don’t usually have exposure to native English speakers. Throughout Thailand English is the main language in tourism and in this area tourism is a major source of jobs and income.

Where will I be living?

The project in a rural region 45 minutes from the city of Surat Thani. Volunteers stay in their own simple Thai style bungalow with a TV and bathroom. The bungalow is set in beautiful exotic gardens, including a lake and orchid gardens. There is a traditional Thai restaurant which has a TV and WiFi.

The rural location of this project means that you have the perfect balance between being part of the “real” Thailand whilst still being in striking distance of the lively islands of Koh Samui, Koh Tao and Koh Phagnan that you can explore at the weekends.

What's Included?

Before you go:

  • Carefully selected and vetted volunteer project
  • Support from our friendly and highly experienced Pod UK team
  • Single point of contact - Ellie is your dedicated placement manager
  • In-depth Volunteering Guide on your volunteering placement
  • Travel information - visa, health and safety advice
  • Help arranging criminal record checks
  • Discounted online TEFL course
  • Access to specialist travel insurance at exclusive rates
  • Recommended travel agency for flights and tours
  • Access to special deals and resources
  • Fundraising guide and support
  • Financial protection for monies paid to Pod

On your placement:

  • Teaching volunteering placement
  • Airport pick up and return transfers (Surat Thani)
  • Accommodation - Thai bungalow
  • Daily transport to school
  • Induction to your school, timetable and syllabus
  • Activities: local market tour, waterfall and beach tour
  • Pod polo shirt
  • Thai SIM card for your mobile phone
  • Onsite support from local team
  • Support from Pod UK office by phone and email
  • 24/7 emergency back up
  • Incident Management and Emergency Response Plans

On your return:

  • Contact from your placement manager
  • Feedback scheme
  • Volunteering certificate (on request)
  • References (on request)
  • Member of the Pod community

Not included: Flights, travel insurance, visa, criminal records check, food. Budgeting guidance is provided in our Volunteering Guide which we will email you when you apply.

Pod Volunteer is run as a non-profit organisation. Fee levels are set to match costs and any surplus monies are distributed to the projects we work with via the Pod Charity.
Price table
4 weeks £795 GB Pounds
Each additional 2 weeks £195 GB Pounds

Fees in currencies other than GBP are indicative only and volunteers are invoiced in GBP. For current exchange rates please see www.xe.com


Children benefit from this project

"Pod is a no nonsense volunteer organisation looking to change lives"Cian


Pod UK Specialist

Ellie has visited the project, apply you will hear from her soon!

We look forward to receiving your application! There is no commitment by applying and we will send more information.



  • Thailand Teaching English in Tropical Schools volunteer – Ellie

    “It was truly one of the best experiences of my life. Even in 6 weeks you recognise the difference you have made in the children's confidence to engage in conversation and their ability to understand the English language.”

    Read more volunteer reviews
  • Thailand Teaching English in Tropical Schools volunteer – Katherine

    “It exceeded all expectations. I have never felt more welcome or more appreciated and I was overwhelmed by how friendly everyone was. The children at the schools were so excited and enthusiastic to learn”

    Read more volunteer reviews
  • Thailand Teaching English in Tropical Schools volunteer – Leah

    “I really don't know where to begin in explaining the impact the students and teachers had on me or how amazing this experience was overall. It definitely was the best trip, most enriching I have ever done.”

    Read more volunteer reviews


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  • Association of Bonded Travel Organisers Trust
  • Right Tourism
  • DOFE
  • theguardian
  • the independent
  • Sunday Times
  • Year Out Group
  • Best Volunteering Organisation
  • Wall Street Journal